Guessing and then hoping for the best. When it comes to rug hooking, we've all done it--guessing how much wool we need to finish hooking an area and then hoping we're right and we don't have to start over or choose from substitutions. Here's a time-tested method for calculating how much wool you'll need!
The whole key to figuring wool is to "square off" the portion you want to hook, like a square or rectangle. Let's say you're hooking a horse in the center of your design. Simply measure the height of the horse and then the width, and then multiply those two numbers together. We then multiply that number by the strip size number shown below.
Let's say you are using a #8 cut of wool (wool strips cut to approximately 1/4" wide) and your horse is roughly 6" tall by 10" wide, or a total of 60". You would simply multiply 60 by the strip size number below to know how many total inches of wool you need to finish your horse. In this case, I would multiply 60 by 6 to arrive at 360 inches of wool to finish my horse:
Cut of Wool : Strip Size Number:
#3 or #4 (up to 1/8" Wide) 4
#5 or #6 (up to 6/32" Wide) 5
#7 or #8 (up to 1/4" Wide) 6
#9 or #10 (up to 1/2" Wide) 8
You then take the total (in this case we've arrived at 360) and use it to see how much yardage we'll need to complete the horse. Using the handy cheat sheet below, I know I'll need roughly a quarter yard of washed, pre-cut wool:
If you need up to 52 inches, you'll need 1/32 yard (a 3.25" x 16" piece or a 6.5" x 8" piece)
If you need up to 104 inches, you'll need 1/16 yard (a 6.5" x 16" piece or an 8" x 13" piece of wool)
If you need up to 208 inches, you'll need 1/8 yard (a 13" x 16" piece of wool)
If you need up to 416 inches, you'll need 1/4 yard (a 16" x 26" piece of wool)
If you need up to 832 inches, you'll need 1/2 yard (a 26" x 32" piece of wool)
If you need up to 1,248 inches, you'll need 3/4 yard
If you need up to 1,664 inches, you'll need 1 yard (a 32" x 52" piece of wool)
I know that 1/4 yard of wool is probably a little more than I will need to finish my horse, but my RULE OF THUMB is to always calculate in a little more wool than I need, especially if I am hooking a background.
I hope this gets you well on your way to easily figuring how much wool you need to hook your next rug. I'm back to my work table this morning to finish up the last bit of stitching on my new "Krazy Kats" candle mat design I promised to release this week. Check out Part 1 of my tutorial on making "Krazy Kats", with the final Part 2 tutorial coming in a couple of days. In the meantime, Happy Stitchin'! xoxo--Melanie